In addition, autoflowering hybrids are cultivars which have been mixed somewhere down the line with ruderalis genetics.
As more is understood about whole plant medicine, the role of essential oils is being re-examined. Hybrids that combine essential oils have begun to appear on the market, but they are still in their early days.
Growing in or outdoors imposes its own restrictions on cultivator choice. Sativas grow tall and tree-like. Indicas tend to be shrubby. However, hybrids can be selected for size, bushiness, and other features. Some sativa hybrids, in other words, can be mistaken for indicas.
Many hybrids are a mix of both indica and sativa “parents”. This allows breeders to determine the kind of impact the strain will have. Going for a couch-lock? Try an indica-dominant strain. Seeking cerebral creativity? Look for sativa-dominant strains. Want an autoflowering strain? That will be a hybrid of a ruderalis, plus another strain. As medical research expands, more and more breeds are being created to sustain specific concentrations of certain cannabinoids. Many strains of cannabis will maximise THC or CBD. Medical cannabis for children, for example, is bred from specific hybrid strains of cannabis that will always contain low levels of THC, but high amounts of CBD.
Seeds germinated by this process will be first generation hybrids of the male and female parents. Those with the desired traits will be bred again. Once these traits have been produced, breeders will “cube” the strain. In other words, they will breed a child hybrid with a parent strain to reinforce the characteristics. It is usually repeated across three or more generations to stabilise the characteristics.
As the demand for cannabis grows, so does experimentation with new strains. Most of the strains on the commercial market today are hybrids – plants bred from numerous different strains of cannabis to produce certain effects or features. This is a basic primer on what hybrids are, and some of the reasons they have become so popular.
Developing a successful hybrid takes time and work. And not all hybrids are really the same.
Sativa strains are known for their tall, tree-like growth and their cerebral highs.
Generally, there are four types of strains:
Cannabis is increasingly crossbred into new plants called hybrids to sustain certain characteristics. This is a quick overview of what hybrids are.